If you’re staring an unhappy marriage in the face and thinking of the years in front of you, the need to end the damaging relationship is very real. However, if your family has limited resources, even the idea of filing for a divorce can stop you from moving forward with your lives.
However, there is hope. It doesn’t have to take years and tons of cash to sever the marital contract. If you actively pursue all the papers, filings, and openly communicate with your legal team you can complete a divorce in the State of California in about six months.
What Do I Need First?
You ought to understand how the entire process works before creating expectations with a deadline that may not be able to be met, no matter how much both parties wish to end the marriage. California provides an excellent resource for its residents. The California Courts website includes a complete list of procedures and papers for petitioning for a divorce.
Links for required forms and advice for finding assistance are all clearly written out in a manner meant to be used by everyday people. However, it’s a good idea to contact an attorney versed in family law, even if the separation is entirely amicable. They can help you make sure every detail is completed correctly the first time, reducing the chance the paper trail slows down due to errors.
Working with a Mediator Can Speed Things Along
A mediator sits down with both parties and works with you outside of the courtroom to come to an agreement regarding the splitting of property, custody, and even alimony payments. While you may not successfully negotiate all the terms of the divorce in mediation, any part of an agreement will allow the courts to more quickly come to a final judgment for the divorce, saving you time.
Time Is Money
While divorce is emotionally stressful, it is essential to keep the big prize front and center when working with a limited budget. The more time spent arguing over the division of assets, the more money will be spent on lawyers. It will also extend the amount of time the courts need to process your papers. Work to keep communication open with your soon-to-be-ex so that you can file with the courts sooner, rather than paying a lawyer to help you fight over dwindling bank accounts.
If you are in an abusive situation, don’t try to handle it alone. Contact a domestic violence counselor or attorney to plot a course of action that will protect you and your family from further harm. Waivers for court fees and legal aid are available, enabling you to move forward even when the other party is not in agreement.